China: A New History, Second Enlarged Edition

China: A New History, Second Enlarged Edition

John King Fairbank

Language: English

Pages: 640

ISBN: 0674018281

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

China: A New History, Second Enlarged Edition

John King Fairbank

Language: English

Pages: 640

ISBN: 0674018281

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


John King Fairbank was the West's doyen on China, and this book is the full and final expression of his lifelong engagement with this vast ancient civilization. It remains a masterwork without parallel. The distinguished historian Merle Goldman brings the book up to date, covering reforms in the post-Mao period through the early years of the twenty-first century, including the leadership of Hu Jintao. She also provides an epilogue discussing the changes in contemporary China that will shape the nation in the years to come.

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even today to set up an independent household together after marriage. Instead, they usually enter the husband’s father’s household and assume responsibilities for its maintenance, subordinating married life to family life in a way that many Westerners would consider insupportable. While the family headship passes intact from father to eldest son, the family property does not. Early in their history the Chinese abandoned primogeniture, by which the eldest son inherits all the father’s property

war chariot that had empowered conquerors in West Asia from about 1500 bc. No doubt its concept had come across Central Asia. The spears and arrows of foot soldiers accompanied the chariot. Three men manned it—a driver in the center, flanked by a swordsman (or halberdier) and a bowman. Bronze fittings made the chariot motile. Men from each cluster of families in a lineage seem to have formed a military unit. Thousands of soldiers are mentioned as having taken thousands of prisoners, hundreds of

marginal participation in the life of Inner Asia. Song China after all coexisted with several peripheral states—Vietnam on the south, Nan Zhao on the southwest, Tibet, the Tangut Western Xia (Xixia) state on the northwest, and the Qidan Liao on the north—so that China was in fact, as Morris Rossabi (1983) puts it, diplomatically “among equals.” The Ming claims of universal superiority would be asserted only after the Mongol empire of the thirteenth century had set an example. From the Song period

self-sufficiency of the military in farming for their own food supply are unreliable. Ray Huang says that the army nowhere near paid for itself. The record stated the ideal, not the facts: Military officials kept no records, and Ming historians wanted to make the dynasty look good. The whole military farming program was a blueprint put out with no preparation, research, or experimentation to guide it. No control agency was set up, and administration was very lax. Households were pressed into

Thus in Part Two, before turning to the Western invasion after 1820, we will note two elements: first, the extent of China’s domestic growth and of certain institutional constraints that would limit its capacity to industrialize; and second, the dynamism of the Chinese overseas— Maritime China—and the foreign trade that would contribute to China’s entrance into the outside world. 8 The Paradox of Growth without Development The Rise in Population An increase in population has usually been

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